The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is now focused on increasing the security of the global supply chain, and to that end, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced last week that DHS has launched a new partnership with the World Customs Organization (WCO).
During her remarks at the European Policy Centre, Secretary Napolitano discussed the three main elements of this international collaborative effort:
Preventing terrorists from exploiting the global supply chain to plan and execute attacks,
Protecting the most critical elements of the supply chain system, such as transportation hubs and related critical infrastructure, from attacks and disruptions and
Building the resilience of the global supply chain to ensure that if something does happen, the supply chain can recover quickly.
"Securing the global supply chain is part and parcel of securing both the lives of people around the world, and the stability of the global economy," said Secretary Napolitano. "The United States is committed to working with our international partners and the private sector to keep this powerful engine of commerce, jobs, and prosperity from being attacked or disrupted."
In 2011, DHS plans to work with international partners to:
strengthen cargo screening standards across the globe,
deploy state-of-the-art technologies to better track and detect precursors, and
in conjunction with the Departments of State and Defense, expand and coordinate technical assistance and training to partner countries to ensure that well-developed, well-equipped customs agencies are able to do their jobs everywhere along the global supply chain.
Precursor chemicals that terrorists can use to produce improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are of particular concern. Currently, through Project Global Shieldlaunched by DHS, the World Customs Organization, INTERPOL, and the UN Office of Drugs and Crime in 201060 nations are sharing information with each other to ensure that chemicals entering their countries are being used in safe and legal ways.
Secretary Napolitano also emphasized DHS' domestic efforts to address this issue, including creating a first of its kind center to coordinate all U.S. government efforts on export enforcement, and working with institutions across America where these chemicals are common such as hospitals, labs, and beauty supply companies to prevent their diversion for use in IEDs.
More information is available at www.dhs.gov